Alzheimer's and Home Health Care

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

When a trend is obvious and seems on course to continue, it is worth reflecting on the implications of that trend. The advancing age of the US population structure, the growing need for home-based care, and the widening shortfall of public funds to provide health care services are all trends with important implications in the Alzheimer's field.

I noted this press release from the "Home Instead Senior Care Network" and thought it worthy of comment. I am not familiar with this company first hand and do not know if they provide good services. What I do know is that the services they are offering are poised to become increasingly necessary components of our health care system.

Today, we draw daily on an enormous amount of unpaid care from family and friends. This comes as a cost in lost productivity, lost wages, lost spending power, and lost tax revenues. It is a drain on our economy that could be lessened through a more coordinated national approach.

Perhaps free market forces will recognize this opportunity and fill the void with high-caliber care provided efficiently on the open market. On the other hand, diverting some of the medicare budget away from acute care in the nation's emergency rooms and toward home-based wellness might spur new levels of privately funded care and improve the quality of life for our aging population.